• Welcome to the 563 Locomotive Group

    Our aim is to create a living piece of history by steaming this iconic locomotive and preserving it for future generations.

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  • Support the project

    Find out how you can make a difference and help restore this famous locomotive!

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  • Discover the history

    563 tells an important story about the industrial and social development of the railway in Dorset at the turn of the 19th century.

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  • Read the latest news

    Follow our progress and discover how we are achieving the dream of returning 563 to steam.

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The story so far…

In March 2017 the National Railway Museum generously gifted the sole surviving Adams’ designed T3 class, No.563 to the Swanage Railway Trust and ever since day one the exciting ambition has been to return her to steam.

Given our deep-rooted history with the London & South Western Railway, the engine made a welcome return to its spiritual home and the 563 Locomotive Group has been formed to ensure its preservation for future generations but we need your help to do this.

After an extensive strip down and investigation at the Flour Mill workshop in the Forest of Dean, the engine was found to be in a surprisingly good mechanically overhauled condition by Eastleigh Works and although the firebox was life expired, as expected, the boiler barrel is also in an excellent condition with little corrosion inside or out.

The anticipated cost of returning No.563 to steam will be £350,000 and our current appeal aims to raise this money over the next two years. As a sign of the Swanage Railway Trust’s commitment, it has already placed a £30,000 order for all the copper required to construct the new inner firebox.

This promises to be one of the most exciting locomotive restorations in that has taken place in the last 25 years. A locomotive, which many thought would never steam again will be brought back to life on the railway it was built for – It’s time to get on board!

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No matter how large or small the contribution, we have a wide variety of options available for you to support the project with fantastic benefits available as a thank you in return.

563 hasn't steamed in over 70 years!

Help raise £350,000 to bring this unique locomotive back to life by 2021 and continue to tell it's amazing story by returning it to steam!

Latest News…

Engineering Update 3

Boiler work has begun in earnest with precise surgery on 563s outer firebox!

563LG welcomes local illustrator – Kevin Williamson!

Kevin Williamson commissions exclusive illustrations for the 563 Locomotive Group.

Engineering Update 2

The Flour Mill successfully extracts 563s inner firebox.

https://youtu.be/8qA673JCwG4

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